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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The new anthropometric history, which blends human biology with history and economics in a form understandable to a general audience, began in the mid-1970s with the study of important questions about American slavery, such as the age of slaves at menarche and their first birth, stature attained relative to other contemporary populations, time trends in stature, and the relationship between mortality and physical growth in childhood. This chapter updates the literature based on refinements in the methodology and on substantially more evidence from slave manifests. Important new conclusions concern childbearing at young ages, adequacy of the diet, the profitability of childhood stunting and recovery, and the cognitive and socioeconomic consequences of severe early childhood deprivation.

Keywords: slave, stature, net nutrition, menarche, stunting, catch-up growth

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